Civil War Civilian Living History

Interpreting the American Civil War Home Front

Broderie Anglaise

How can I get so lucky!! Two Genteel Arts classes in one month! My second class was Broderie Anglaise hosted by the Surratt House Museum in Clinton MD and presented by Carolann Schmitt. This is addictive needlework.

We started the class with an overview of broderie anglaise including a wonderful display of original garments with the broderie work and a pattern book. All of the following photos are from the collection of Carolann Schmitt and used with her permission for this post only.

Carolann provided a kit which included two weights of thread, needles and fabric.

Boderie anglaise can be worked free hand or in a hoop. I choose a hoop to learn. We selected a pattern and traced it onto our fabric. Once traced, the pattern is stitched over. An awl is then used to separate the fabric threads between the stitching to create a hole. Whip stitching is used to hold the hole open to create the design. It really is not too difficult as you only need a whip stitch and a button hole stitch.












I decided to try a collar once I learned the techniques. Starting with a scalloping stitch and then creating the design. This design is a bit of a challenge as it is very small. Cutting the fabric from around the scalloping is also a challenge; you must be careful not to cut the stitching, which I did in a few places.







As I said, this is a bit addictive. It’s a great way to keep your hands busy while watching T.V. or while at an event. It’s something you can start, put down and pick up again without losing your place.

I’m pretty happy with how the collar is turning out at the moment, but definitely need more practice.

Categories: Civil War, sewing